Monday, 3 May 2010

Tauro FC (Panama)

Tauro Fútbol Club are the most successful team in Panamanian league history, with nine wins and eight runners up gongs under their belts since their relatively recent foundation in 1984. Like many other stripes around the world, they are believed to have chosen their strip because their founder, Italian industrialist Giancarlo Gronchi was a fan of some mob from his homeland called Juventus.

They play in the slightly obtuse Liga Panameña de Fútbol, where like an increasing amount of  countries in Latin America the season is split into two tournaments - the Apertura and Clausura. Both of these have two stages - a round robin league where everybody plays everybody else, followed by a knockout where the top four team have a series of play-offs to decide the winner. 

Relegation is decided by adding both sets of round- robin tables, and the winners of both halves of the season qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. And you thought our play-off systems were tricky to fathom! Prior to the creation of the main national league, Tauro played in the Liga Distritorial de Chepo, a league for clubs from the Eastern side of the country.

Interest in football comes a distant second in a country obsessed by baseball, and so Tauro's achievements in becoming the most popular club in Panama and begining to bring the game to the masses is even more remarkable.

They have a great rivalry with their fellow Panama City club Plaza Amador, their matches known locally as El Clásico. This dates back to the very first match in the LPF where Tuaro's Carlos Maldonado scored the debut goal in the competition's history. Current stars include captain Luis Moreno, a much capped Panamanian international, Colombia journeyman Joan Melo and Argentinian strike man Matias Bernal. The team are also notable for having kept the same manager, Uruguayan Miguel Mansilla, for over 20 years - a feat almost unheard of in the volatile world of Central American football.

All photos © lays with the owners
Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

No comments:

Post a Comment